FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 10, 2012
For Information Contact:
District Man Found Guilty of First-Degree Premeditated Murder
And Other Charges in 2010 Attack
- Victim Was Accosted While Riding Bicycle Home From Work -
WASHINGTON - Eric Foreman, 18, of Washington, D.C., was found guilty today by a jury of first-degree premeditated murder while armed and other charges stemming from a shooting he committed in August 2010 in the Sherman Circle area of Northwest Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
The jury returned the verdicts late this afternoon in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, also finding the defendant guilty of charges of felony murder-attempted robbery while armed, attempted robbery, and related firearms offenses. The verdict included a finding of two aggravating circumstances: that the murder involved a random shooting, and that it occurred during the course of an attempted robbery. Foreman is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 16, 2012, before the Honorable Robert E. Morin.
Foreman faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years of incarceration when sentenced, and the possibility of up to life without parole.
According to the government's evidence presented at trial, the homicide occurred at about 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 22, 2010, near the intersection of Kansas Avenue and Sherman Circle NW. The victim, Neil Godleski, 31, was a student attending Catholic University, trying to complete the degree he had started there when younger. He had just finished working a shift as a waiter at a restaurant in Southwest Washington and was pedaling home on his bicycle when he approached Sherman Circle in the bicycle lane.
Foreman was walking with a group of teenage friends on the opposite side of the street when Mr. Godleski came by in the bicycle lane. Suddenly, without any warning or yelling, Foreman emerged from the group and fired five shots as Mr. Godleski pedaled by. None of the shots hit Mr. Godleski, and Foreman began to walk off. Mr. Godleski, however, fell off his bicycle. Foreman then turned and approached Mr. Godleski, getting closer than arm’s reach. The defendant then shot Mr. Godleski at close enough range that the firearm left a deposit of soot on Mr. Godleski’s arm. While the defendant and his friends ran off, Mr. Godleski struggled across the street and collapsed on top of his bicycle inside of Sherman Circle.
Foreman was later heard saying that he had taken $60 and that he had shot Mr. Godleski for not giving up the money quickly enough. He was also heard saying that he shot Mr. Godleski because he was mad about the unrelated murder of a friend of his earlier in the summer.
In announcing the verdicts, U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen praised the work of the Metropolitan Police Department, including homicide detectives, mobile crime officers, and firearms examiners. Mr. Machen additionally praised the work of those who assisted at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegals Marian Russell, Brendan Tracz, and Koryn High; Marcey Rinker of the Victim Witness Assistant Unit; and Leif Hickling of the Litigation Services unit. He also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chrisellen Kolb, Elizabeth Danello, and Elizabeth Trosman of the Appellate Section, who assisted with trial issues as the case proceeded through trial. Finally, he thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Gripkey, who indicted and tried the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrienne Dedjinou, who also tried the case.